“An English horn sings out above rustling strings and a flute answers with a sylvan call, a moment of serene simplicity before the melody blooms into full orchestral splendor,” writes Zoë Madonna in Wednesday’s (7/19) Boston Globe. “So begins ‘The Blue Planet,’ a stirring orchestral work written for the World Wildlife Fund by Boston composer Peggy Stuart Coolidge (1913-81)…. During her life, Coolidge’s work was performed in venues as distant as Tokyo and Moscow and as nearby as Symphony Hall, but in recent years, performances have been less frequent. The Boston Landmarks Orchestra performs ‘The Blue Planet’ … on the Esplanade Wednesday [led by] music director Christopher Wilkins…. ‘Even today, to say there’s a barrier for women composers is a vast understatement.… Imagine a generation or two ago, how much more difficult it was,’ said Wilkins.… Coolidge recalled [in 1979] that when a ‘noted man with lines to a big recording company’ came to her apartment in New York in the 1940s, he made advances on her…. ‘Eventually thanks to judo learned in the war I landed him on his back on the floor.’ ”

Posted July 19, 2017